It was certainly a night for the long ball; plenty of them rained upon the rocks in center field at Angel Stadium. José Abreu had a two-homer night, we were treated to some fantastic defense on the part of Tim Anderson, as well as an exciting ninth-inning rally, but it still was not enough to overcome the calculating Angels.
Human cheat code Mike Trout and the Los Angeles Angels beat the Chicago White Sox, 8-7.
Angels starter Andrew Heaney retired the first 10 batters he saw, and was looking incredibly locked in; his stuff was rather fire, as Jason Benetti mentioned a 93 mph sinker with a high spin rate, which results in some late movement.
In the first inning, your little sibling’s MLB the Show Create-A-Player, Mike Trout, was limited to an infield single, off a nice stop by Yolmer Sánchez —that play might have saved some extra bases. Shohei Ohtani sent a double off the wall, pushing Trout to third.
A spectacular defensive play by Tim Anderson certainly saved some runs; Leury García cut right in front of Anderson as the ball reached his glove but not even missing a beat, Anderson launched the ball to first, nabbing the speedy Justin Upton. Trout came home on the groundout, 1-0, Angels.
Up came the third inning; so how do you pitch to Mike Trout, anyway? Very carefully.
As a Lizzo fan, I gotta say, that’s pretty clever, Angels. They led, 2-0.
To round out the third inning, we were treated to more spectacular defense from Anderson.
In the fourth inning, Anderson canceled the postgame show with a single to left, with one out. Then a wild José Abreu appeared.
The White Sox tie it! 2-2.
Around came the dreaded 5th inning. Do I really have to talk about the fifth inning? Brian Goodwin walked; Trout only singled this time around, Goodwin moving to third. Reynaldo López walked Upton, packing the sacks with Angels. David Fletcher then smacked a single to shallow left, driving in two, 4-2, Angels. To add insult to injury, Luis Rengifo singled, scoring Upton.
In the sixth inning, Trout once again singled, because he’s Mike Trout, now 4-for-4 at this point. Ohtani reached on an error by Sánchez; and this time, it was Upton’s turn to rain down (Rains of Castamere, anyone?) on Sox pitching, namely Josh Osich. A big crooked number went up, stretching the lead to 8-2, Angels.
The White Sox were not about to go quietly into that good night, however; Abreu homered to deep left on a solo shot, trimming the lead to 8-3.
So admittedly, this was the part of the game where I started checking my group texts and twitter notifications, maybe look at my tracking numbers to see if the stuff I bought last week is anywhere closer to arriving at my house. I even put my laundry away. This was incredibly productive for me, because the White Sox bullpen was nice enough to keep the Angels from scoring in the seventh and eigtth innings.
The ninth is when I had to stop folding my pants and pay attention again —Heaney was replaced in the game by Trevor Cahill, and all hell broke loose. Anderson reached on an error by Max Stassi, immediately followed by a triple by none other but James “Wheels” McCann, scoring Timmy.
Eloy Jiménez then entered the chat with a single, scoring McCann, and the Sox inched closer to the Angels, 8-5.
So you thought the White Sox were done? You thought this game was over? What’s a bedtime? Well, Welington Castillo doesn’t care about your sleep habits. He clubbed a two-run blast off Hansel Robles, bringing the White Sox within one run, at 8-7.
Sánchez continued the rally with a single off Robles, but the rally is qualmed when Robles struck out Ryan Goins to notch the save.
With the biggest gold “You Tried” sticker, the White Sox offense woke up late against Angels pitching. López did not have his best stuff tonight. I’ve said before that he’s most effective when his curve and slider are popping, and he’s throwing a lot less of the curve than usual. He went 5 1/3 innings, giving up nine hits and five earned. He walked two and struck out six, dropping his record to 7-10. His opponent, Heaney, went seven innings, giving up four hits and three earned. He walked none and struck out six.
Tomorrow, Lucas Giolito (12-6, 3.42) goes after lucky win number 13 in his homecoming game. He’ll face off against Patrick Sandoval (0-0, 5.59), who will only be making his second career start.
Catch the action at 8:07 p.m. CST on NBC Sports Chicago; if radio’s more your thing, tune into WGN 720, but then, you’d miss Color Commentator for a Day Bill Walton spiking the broadcast booth coffee pot with acid. The mathematical Joe Resis has your SSHP coverage, and you better believe he’s bringing his TI-83.